Thomas Swindlehurst collection

Scope and Content

The Crafts Study Centre has listed together in this collection small offerings of letters, photographs and publications relating to Thomas Swindlehurst and his work, collected or produced by admirers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas W. Swindlehurst was born in Yorkshire in 1900. He was awarded a Free Studentship to the Royal College of Art in 1923/1924 to study silversmithing and won two major prizes awarded by the Federation of British Industries for the best student in 1926 and 1927. He also studied calligraphy and lettering under Edward Johnston from 1924 to 1927. He taught at Cheltenham for a few years, and then at Leeds College of Art until his retirement in 1958.

Swindlehurst had a lifelong interest in heraldry, and his most important commissioned works were for York Minster and Ripon Cathedral. He exhibited his work widely, in Britain, Europe and America, and his work is well-represented in collections.

Swindlehurst was Treasurer of the Leeds Fine Arts Club, where he frequently exhibited his watercolours. He was a member of the Committee of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators (SSI) from 1963 until his sudden death in 1965. At the time of his death he was working on a chronological manual of alphabets, The Book of Alphabets, which was uncompleted.


TSC/1 David Graham's Thomas Swindlehurst Collection, including mounted letters to TS collected as examples of handwriting; exhibition catalogues belonging to TS; letters to TS; and colour transparencies of work by TS.

Access Information

Archive material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Greta Bertram, Curator, Crafts Study Centre, February 2022.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue on Crafts Study Centre database. A pdf copy is available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled.


It is likely that further Swindelhurst-related material will be offered to the CSC. Material of interest will be added to this collection.


'Tom Swindlehurst Remembered', The Scribe , Winter 1985, pp.3-9